Gov Gavin Newsom orders closure of schools, businesses over spike in Covid-19
California’s Governor, Gavin Newsom, has announced closure of schools and businesses, following the new spike in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in the country.
The state’s two largest school districts, in Los Angeles and San Diego, announced that children would stay home in August.
While disclosing this on Monday July 13, 2020, Newsom ordered that bars, restaurants, movie theaters, zoos and museums across the state remain closed.
The governor, at a news briefing, noted that it is necessary to recognize that COVID-19 is "not going away any time soon, until there is a vaccine and/or an effective therapy."
He stated further that the move is critical to stemming a surge in COVID-19 cases that have strained hospitals in several of California’s rural counties.
Most schools in the state have agreed in a joint statement to teach only online when school resumes in August, citing “vague and contradictory” science and government guidelines.
The districts said countries that have safely reopened schools have done so only after establishing declining infection rates and on-demand coronavirus testing.
“California has neither,” the statement said, adding, “The sky-rocketing infection rates of the past few weeks make it clear the pandemic is not under control.”
The union representing Los Angeles teachers applauded the strategy in a separate statement released shortly after the school shutdowns were announced.
“In the face of the alarming spike in COVID cases, the lack of necessary funding from the government to open schools safely and the outsized threat of death faced by working-class communities of color, there really is no other choice that doesn’t put thousands of lives at risk,” United Teachers Los Angeles said.